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Doctor negligence and misconduct leads to $500,000 damages award

A patient who undergoes anesthesia may have many concerns. Will there be any side effects? Will he or she wake up from the drugs? One concern that may not have crossed California patients' minds is - will the doctor be respectful to me during surgery? A Virginia patient found out that the answer to the last question was a resounding no after recording his doctor mocking him during surgery.

The patient care that this man received during a routine colonoscopy is astounding. The patient, who had his phone programmed to record so he could have the post-operation instructions saved on his phone prior to being put to sleep, forgot to turn his phone off. What he heard when he listened to the recording following the surgery led him to bring a lawsuit against the doctors who operated on him.

The doctor errors that occurred in this surgery may be surprising to many. The anesthesiologist noted that she was going to mark the patient as having hemorrhoids that the doctor did not actually see. The anesthesiologist, another doctor and an assistant also joked that the patient had an assortment of ailments, including Ebola and syphilis. Additionally, the anesthesiologist called the patient a "retard," a "big wimp," as well as made fun of his alma mater, among other defamatory behavior.

The patient, who sued for defamation and medical malpractice, won a $500,000 damages award against the anesthesiologist. Punitive damages accounted for $200,000 of the award, another $200,000 was for medical malpractice, and the remaining $100,000 was for defamation.

Doctors ought to be treating their patients with the utmost care and respect, whether they think the patients can hear them or not. If you or a loved one has been mistreated by a doctor, you may have options for legal recovery.

Source:, "Patient Records Doctor's Insults During Surgery, Wins $500,000 Lawsuit," June 24, 2015

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